There is a very good chance that Christian Heyward (6-3, 265) from San Diego (Calif.) Point Loma will be one of the most sought after players from the Golden State for the class of 2011. He plays the money position of defensive tackle and has a lethal first step
"Christian is a very agile athletic kid, who has started for us for two years on the varsity level," Point Loma head coach Mike Hastings said. "His first step is so explosive and fast that most high school kids can't block him. That's Christian's strength, his quickness off the ball.
"Christian is also extremely strong and physical," Hastings said. "He runs well and makes a lot of plays for us from tackle to tackle.
Heyward is an outstanding all around athlete who also plays basketball for Point Loma and he's pretty good, too. He can jump up and back slam a basketball. Because he is busy playing basketball, he doesn't spend a lot of time in the weight room, but he's naturally strong.
Hastings said once he gets Heyward back in the weight room this spring, he will easily lift over 300 pounds. That is a pretty good lift for high school junior.
"Last year Christian maxed out at 315 going into his junior year," Hastings said. "This year we expect him to exceed that by a lot.
"Christian just turned 16 this past summer," Hastings said. "He's just a 16 year old kid who is just kind of a baby monster. I mean he is just growing and getting bigger and stronger every time I see him. I think Christian is one of those guys who is a can't miss, in terms of his future."
The San Diego Aztec are showing the good sense to be the first school to offer. He is after all in their backyard.
"San Diego State came and saw him in person and they came the next Monday after our championship game and offered," Hastings said. "USC was showing interest in him, but with all turmoil, once it calms down they will be back down. UCLA has also been down here and requested his transcripts.
"I think Christian is about to blow up," Hastings said. "Our video guy just got the videos up and put them up on the web and when colleges see what he can do, he's going to blow up.
"I expect Christian to be a 40 to 50 offer guy when it is all said and done, by the summer" Hastings said. "He is just one of those kids. I have a couple of them in past and I think he will exceed Josh Holmes' level.
"Holmes is a kid I coaches who starts at Miami as a defensive tackle," Hastings said. "He will definitely outdo Anthony West in terms of offers and he is starting at Nebraska. He is a blackshirt defensive player for those guys so it's coming. The tidal wave is coming, it just hasn't hit just yet.
"When I compare him to Holmes, he's just bigger, taller and he's a tad quicker off the ball," Hastings said. "Josh was a quick kid off the ball, but Christian beats him. He's just so fast with that first step. That's what sets him apart.
"Christian is a quiet, confident kid, off the field," Hastings said. "But on the field, he competes his tail off. He's a very competitive guy.
"As good as Christian is he's only going to get better," Hastings said. "He has tremendous upsides. Talk about genes, his dad is 6-6 and about 250, who is a lean, mean man, who was a collegiate basketball player here locally.
"The genes have helped Christian out, and he has helped himself out by working hard," Hastings said. "Christian through his hard work has set him up in a very good situation for his future."
Heyward earned all-league, all-county, and all-CIF San Diego Section.
Hastings thinks, he could have had even more honors.
"I think he could have been our league defensive player of the year, but we had a senior linebacker who is probably going to end up at New Mexico State," Hastings said. "A young man by the name of Anthony Joyner. Anthony was voted the conference player of the year and Christian was second.
"We had the top two kids so next year no doubt, Christian will be the conference defensive player of the year," Hastings said. "Christian was on a very senior laden team and he stood out and was really one of our top performers."
Top performer indeed. Heyward ended up his junior season with 66 tackles, nine sacks, six pass deflections, three fumbles caused, two fumble recoveries and one blocked field goal.